Industrial Chillers 101

Chillers are an integral and crucial part of many industrial facilities, from manufacturing plants to hospitals to data centers. They are responsible for maintaining optimal working temperatures for equipment and machinery, thus ensuring smooth operations in addition to keeping all the occupants comfortable.

However, not many people who opt for industrial chiller rentals in San Diego understand the basics of how chillers work which can result in sub-par maintenance, increased energy costs, and even complete equipment failure. As such, the info provided here may prove essential to keeping your chiller-reliant business running optimally for foreseeable future.

How long should an industrial chiller last?

The lifespan of an industrial chiller will initially depend on its type and the quality of its components. Typically, quality industrial chillers can last anywhere from 15 to 25 years, provided they are:

  • Correctly installed;
  • Properly used;
  • Regularly maintained.

With continuous use, the final item on the above list will start playing a more and more significant role in its operating efficiency. As such, it is of utmost importance to have certified professionals inspect your chiller on a regular basis, as well as conduct periodic maintenance, as needed.

By doing this, you can significantly prolong your chiller’s lifespan and ensure it is working optimally in all conditions which, in turn, will enhance the operational efficiency of your industrial facility as a whole.

What does regular maintenance entail for industrial chillers?

At the very least, regular chiller maintenance should include:

  • Cleaning the condenser and evaporator coils;
  • Checking and recapping the refrigerant levels;
  • Inspecting the compressor, motors, and electrical components.industrial chiller rentals San Diego

What refrigerant is used in industrial chillers?

The specific type of refrigerant you should use in your chiller will depend on the application requirements, environmental regulations of the area, and targeted energy efficacy. The most common refrigerants used in industrial chillers today are:

  • R-22, also known as Freon, was the most widely used refrigerant for decades. However, due to its ozone-depleting properties, many countries phased it out of use and switched to more environmentally friendly solutions.
  • R-134A is a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerant initially design to replace ozone-depleting options such as R-22. While it has excellent thermodynamic properties, this refrigerant also has high global warming potential (GWP), which is why in the USA, it is allowed only on low-temperature stand-alone units.
  • R-410A is a combination of two (HFC) refrigerants and is most commonly used in industrial chillers made post-2010. While it has excellent energy efficiency and does not contribute to global warming or ozone depletion, R-410 is still a greenhouse gas, making it dangerous if not handled or disposed of properly.

While all of the above refrigerants are still in use, there is an initiative (effective as of January 1st, 2023) to replace all three solutions with their superior, even more eco-friendly counterpart:

  • R-454B (also known as Solstice N41) is a hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) refrigerant, designed to replace R-410A. It is non-flammable and has a much lower GWP than its predecessor while retaining outstanding energy efficiency and cooling potential, making it a safer and more eco-friendly alternative.

Therefore, if your chiller is still using R-22, R-134A, or R-410A, you may have to retrofit it or replace it in the near future to comply with current regulations and standards.

Where can I find high-quality industrial chiller rentals in San Diego?

If you are looking to upgrade your industrial facility in Barrio Logan with a high-efficiency industrial chiller, give your existing cooling infrastructure comprehensive maintenance, or simply wish to know more about industrial HVAC and chiller systems, then Aerco Systems should be your first choice.

Since 1978, we’ve been San Diego’s leading provider of expertise-based cooling systems installation and maintenance services, as well as supplying various industrial facilities with top-of-the-line portable HVAC solutions. Reach out to us today and ensure your business is operating at its highest level, every day.